When Tommy Ghianuly died last month, longtime customers wondered about the future of Compo Center Barber Shop.
And they were concerned for Tommy’s longtime and well-respected employees, Felice and Chau.
Not to worry. The 60-year-old business has a new owner. He’s a noted barber himself. He knows the Westport shop well. And he’s committed to keeping it going, without losing a step.
Today was the first day at work for Rami Pirov. But he’s no stranger to the narrow, photo-lined place nestled between Planet Pizza and CVS.
Twenty-five years ago Rami — a barber since age 12 — arrived in the US from his native Uzbekistan. He worked in Long Island and Manhattan. On the Upper East Side he cut the hair of famous athletes like Jorge Posada, Charlie Hayes, Tino Martinez and Mike Piazza.
Ten years ago, Rami started searching for a great barber shop to buy. People recommended Compo Center. He came to Westport, and liked everything about it: the location, clientele and vibe.
It was not for sale. But Rami gave Tommy his number, in case he ever wanted to retire or sell.
Two years ago, Rami called again. Tommy was recovering from surgery. His wife Carolyn saved the letter.
Recently, she gave it to Steve Siegelaub. He’s a real estate lawyer with Berkowitz, Trager & Trager — and, like Dick Berkowitz, a longtime loyal customer and friend of Tommy’s.
Carolyn wanted to make sure that Felice and Chau could keep working. She was glad the barber shop’s legacy could continue — for its customers, and the town.
The deal closed yesterday. Rami was at work today, as owner/operator. He’ll be open 7 days a week.
Right now, Rami — who is married, and has 4 sons — commutes from Queens. As soon as he can, he’ll move to Connecticut.
In the meantime, he welcomes customers: old and new.
Just like Tommy did.